Broken teeth and second-degree burns (A poem)

A pantoum inspired by physical sensations and the occasional mind-body struggle.

When it feels as though my teeth are about to shatter
and the hot and cold shoot down to the pit of my stomach
I have to remember that mere physical sensations aren’t supposed to matter
Steady concentration is supposed to put me back on track

when the hot and cold shoot down to the pit of my stomach
but sometimes I think my body has a mind of its own
Steady concentration is supposed to put me back on track
you try telling that to a stubborn body part that won’t leave you alone

Sometimes I think my body has a mind of its own
especially when it keeps me turning in a direction I really want to avoid
You try reasoning with a stubborn body part that won’t leave you alone
regardless of whatever diversionary tactics you may employ

especially when it keeps you turning in a direction you really want to avoid
like when your hand touches the hot burner even though you know it’s hot
regardless of whatever diversionary tactics you may employ
You can jerk your hand away, but a big, red welt already marks the spot

like when your hand touches the hot burner even though you know it’s hot
and all the cautions and reminders have no effect
You can jerk your hand away, but a big, red welt already marks the spot
Who knows what you could have done with all those chances you wrecked?

(22 March 2016)